Historic Route 66 Self Drive Tour

15 Nights

Chicago, IL

On a journey from the soaring skyscrapers of Chicago and across to the continental US to sunny Los Angeles and its iconic Santa Monica Pier, you’ll be sure to gain an appreciation for the diversity of both city and countryside from state to state.  Sweep through the heart of the Midwest, through the flat plains of Illinois that break into rolling hills in southwest Kansas. As you venture further south and ever more west, the landscape will open up into the land of cowboys and big skies.  Cross the Painted Desert of Arizona for a glimpse at the colourful and arid Petrified Desert on your way to one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, the Grand Canyon. Views here will leave you in awe of the majesty of America’s natural landmarks.  Experience one of America’s most unique and exciting man-made wonders, Las Vegas, a city that rises in front of you out of the desert sand, it’s many themed casinos awaiting closer exploration. The fun doesn’t stop in Vegas, with world-class shopping and dining, and the chance celebrity sighting awaiting you in The City of Angels.  

From £841pp
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Highlights

  • Mark your Route 66 starting point in the Windy City by taking in the lakefront and exploring Chicago’s architectural treasures like Willis Tower, one of America’s tallest buildings
  • Experience pure Americana with photo-ops at Wilmington’s Gemini Giant, Atlanta’s Bunyan Giant, the Blue Whale of Castooga  and other unique roadside landmarks along the way
  • Explore the unique limestone caves and colourful formations at Meramac Caverns and learn how the infamous Jesse James used them as a hideout and escape route via an underground river
  • Feel Route 66 nostalgia stopping at landmarks such as the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge, Route 66 Museum, Philips 66 Gas Station, U-Drop Inn Café and Albuquerque’s Central Avenue 
  • Get a taste for Route 66 by sampling some of MidPoint Café’s famous “ugly crust” pies and stopping at the Cozy Dog Drive-In, birthplace of one of America’s favourite comfort foods, the corn dog
  • Take in the grandeur of the ancient world in Petrified National Forest, a national park harbouring one of the world’s largest collections of petrified wood, historic structures and archeological sites
  • Visit vintage trading posts en route to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, where hiking trails, lookout points and panoramic views await you
  • Grab a picture of yourself at the official end of Route 66: the Santa Monica Pier, then take in Los Angeles by exploring the palm-lines avenues of Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills
  • Day 1 - Chicago Arrival
  • Day 2 - Chicago
  • Day 3 - Chicago - St. Louis
  • Day 4 - St. Louis - Springfield
  • Day 5 - Springfield - Tulsa - Oklahoma City
  • Day 6 - Oklahoma City - Amarillo
  • Day 7 - Amarillo - Albuquerque
  • Day 8 - Albuquerque
  • Day 9 - Albuquerque - Santa Fe - Albuquerque
  • Day 10 - Albuquerque - Holbrook
  • Day 11 - Holbrook - Grand Canyon/Williams
  • Day 12 - Grand Canyon/Williams - Las Vegas
  • Day 13 - Las Vegas
  • Day 14 - Las Vegas - Santa Monica - Los Angeles Area
  • Day 15 - Los Angeles Ares
  • Day 16 - Los Angeles Departure

Arrive at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and transfer independently to your hotel.

Meals Included: Ro

Chicago South Loop Hotel

Property Location With a stay at Chicago South Loop Hotel in Chicago (Bronzeville), you'll be close to McCormick Place and University of Illinois Chicago. This hotel is close to Willis Tower and Skydeck Ledge.

Step outside today and experience mile after magnificent mile of the Windy City. Stand on the corner of Michigan and Adams, marked as the starting point of Historic Route 66. Enjoy coffee and a big breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s, a Chicago institution since 1923 and a must for Route 66 travelers. Stroll the lakefront, peruse the shops, bike the parks, grab a Chicago Dog, or explore the city’s incredible sights and architectural treasures including Willis Tower, one of the tallest buildings in North America.

Meals Included: Ro

Chicago South Loop Hotel

Property Location With a stay at Chicago South Loop Hotel in Chicago (Bronzeville), you'll be close to McCormick Place and University of Illinois Chicago. This hotel is close to Willis Tower and Skydeck Ledge.

This morning, pick up your rental car and get ready for an unforgettable journey into the then and now of America along Historic Route 66. This legendary old road passes through a variety of pure Americana landscapes and takes in some of the country’s biggest, oldest and most peculiar sites along the way. Begin your journey by following the traditional east-towest path of Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis, Missouri, cruising through endless cornfields and flat prairies. En route, don’t miss Wilmington’s most photographed “citizen”, the larger-than-life green Gemini Giant, and Atlanta’s Bunyan Giant, a 19-foot statue of Paul Bunyan holding a giant hot dog. In Springfield, stop at the Cozy Dog Drive-In, the birthplace of the corn dog, and explore the legacy of Abraham Lincoln with a visit to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Once in St. Louis, the largest city along Route 66, you can follow in the footsteps of legendary explorers by visiting the historic sites found throughout the city, including the Gateway Arch, the nation’s tallest monument.

Driving Distance: 300 MI / 480 KM

Meals Included: Ro

Red Roof Plus St Louis Forest Park/Hampton Ave

Property Location With a stay at Red Roof Plus St. Louis - Forest Park / Hampton Ave. in St. Louis, you'll be convenient to St. Louis Science Center and St. Louis Zoo. This motel is within close proximity of Missouri Botanical Gardens and Arboretum and Tower Grove Park.

Continue through the Ozark Highlands of southern Missouri to Springfield, recognized as the birthplace of Route 66. En route, stop at Meramec Caverns, an extensive set of natural limestone caves whose formations and colors are as unique as they are beautiful. Adding to the pleasure of exploring the caves is learning that Jesse James used them as a hideout and took advantage of the underground river to escape through the “back door”.

Driving Distance: 210 MI / 340 KM

Meals Included: Ro

Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven

Property Location With a stay at Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven, you'll be centrally located in Springfield, convenient to Evangel University and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. This motel is within close proximity of Hammons Field and Pythian Castle.

This morning, cut through the southeastern corner of Kansas on your way to Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma section of Route 66 contains more driveable miles than any other state as well as several miles of the original 9-foot road segment that served Oklahoman families headed west in search of better opportunities during the 1930’s. En route to Oklahoma City, stop to view the beloved 20-foot tall cement Blue Whale in Catoosa, a landmark along Route 66, and the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge in Tulsa honoring the “Father of Route 66’s” memory and connection to the historic highway. Once in Oklahoma City, the state’s capital, be sure to check out the old Route 66 motels, gas stations and numerous vintage buildings.

Driving Distance: 310 MI / 520 KM

Meals Included: Ro

Ramada Oklahoma City Airport North

Property Location When you stay at Ramada Oklahoma City Airport North in Oklahoma City, you'll be near the airport and convenient to Celebration Station and White Water Bay. This hotel is within close proximity of State Fair Park and Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City.

Continue to Amarillo, located in the pancake-flat plains of the Texas Panhandle. This area of Texas was once the buffalo- rich grasslands of the Great Plains, inhabited by bands of Kiowa and Comanche Indians. Stop at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton where you experience six decades of Route 66 history. See Shamrock’s Tower Station and the U-Drop Inn Cafe whose towering spire is still a reminder of the booming business it once saw. See the first restored Phillips 66 gas station in McLean and in Groom, the leaning water tower and a 150-foot tall stainless steel cross. Once in Amarillo, be sure to stop at Big Texas Steak Ranch where you can attempt their 72oz. steak challenge

Driving Distance: 260 MI / 420 KM

Meals Included: Ro

Days Inn Amarillo - Medical Center

Property Location With a stay at Days Inn Amarillo - Medical Center in Amarillo, you'll be in the business district and convenient to Westgate Mall and Don Harrington Discovery Center. This motel is within close proximity of Don and Sybil Harrington Cancer Center and Baptist St. Anthony's Health Care System.

Before leaving Amarillo be sure to visit Cadillac Ranch. This unique display of art features a row of ten colorfully painted Cadillac cars buried grille first in the ground. Continue to the MidPoint Café in Adrian famous for its “ugly crust” pies. From Adrian you’ll follow Route 66 to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a great taste of the Land of Enchantment.

Driving Distance: 270 MI / 450 KM

Meals Included: Ro

Days Inn by Wyndham Albuquerque West

Property Location With a stay at Days Inn Albuquerque West in Albuquerque (Westside), you'll be close to ABQ BioPark Aquarium and Old Town Plaza. This motel is within close proximity of ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden and Petroglyph National Monument.

The state’s largest city, Albuquerque spreads north and south along the banks of the Rio Grande. Spend the day exploring Downtown Albuquerque’s Central Avenue, a treasure trove of Route 66 landmarks. Historic Old Town offers a taste of New Mexico’s Spanish colonial past while the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, owned by the state’s 19 different Pueblo communities, traces the history of the region’s Native American cultures

Meals Included: Ro

Days Inn by Wyndham Albuquerque West

Property Location With a stay at Days Inn Albuquerque West in Albuquerque (Westside), you'll be close to ABQ BioPark Aquarium and Old Town Plaza. This motel is within close proximity of ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden and Petroglyph National Monument.

To get a true sense of the Old Route 66, today you will detour to New Mexico’s state capital, Santa Fe. Founded on the ruins of an abandoned Indian village and steeped in history, Santa Fe is the oldest capital in the U.S., and although it lost its place on Route 66 in 1938, it remains one of the most picturesque cities in the state. At one time this was the end of the old Santa Fe Trail, the earliest trade route linking the American frontier back east with the far west. Plan to visit one of Santa Fe’s famous art galleries, art markets, or museums full of traditional and contemporary art, including works by their own Georgia O’Keeffe, or shop for authentic creations you just won’t find anywhere else.

Driving Distance: 116 MI / 186 KM

Meals Included: Ro

Days Inn by Wyndham Albuquerque West

Property Location With a stay at Days Inn Albuquerque West in Albuquerque (Westside), you'll be close to ABQ BioPark Aquarium and Old Town Plaza. This motel is within close proximity of ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden and Petroglyph National Monument.

This morning, the state of Arizona welcomes Route 66 travelers with an overwhelming display of trading posts. View huge concrete tepees that stand at the foot of brilliant red-rock mesas en route to Petrified Forest National Park, the only park in the National Park System containing a section of Historic Route 66. Here you will come face-to-face with over 13,000 years of human history and one of the world’s largest and most colorful assemblies of petrified wood, historic structures and archeological sites. Catch a sunset over the Painted Desert from the park’s Kachina Point before heading to Holbrook. Once in Holbrook, stop at the Wigwam Motel whose steel and concrete teepees featuring modern conveniences have welcomed guests since the 1950’s.

Driving Distance: 260 MI / 420 KM

Meals Included: Ro

Howard Johnson by Wyndham Holbrook

Property Location Centrally located in Holbrook, Howard Johnson Holbrook is convenient to Northland Pioneer College and Navajo County Historical Society Museum. This hotel is within the vicinity of Hidden Cove Golf Course and Navajo County Government Complex.

Continue to Meteor City, a true vintage trading post whose distinctive dome can be seen for miles along this stretch of Route 66. Pass through Flagstaff and Williams en route to Grand Canyon National Park, a natural wonder that you simply have to see to believe. Spend the day discovering the distinct South Rim of the Canyon. Stop at one of the numerous overlooks, walk part of the Rim Trail or along the historic Hermit Road. Visit a Photo Hot Spot, or climb to the top of a stone Watchtower for panoramic views that extend over 100 miles on clear days.

Driving Distance: 180 MI / 290 KM

Meals Included: Ro

Ramada Williams/Grand Canyon Area

Property Location Located in Williams, Ramada Williams/Grand Canyon Area is in a rural location and minutes from Williams Depot and Small Town America Museum. This hotel is within close proximity of Wild West Junction and Buckskinner Park.

Leave the town of Williams and the Grand Canyon behind as you make your way to Seligman, the first stop heading west on the longest uninterrupted stretch of Route 66. Continue through Kingman whose old Route 66 cafés and motels still flourish, to one of Arizona’s hidden treasures, Hoover Dam. Considered the largest single public works project in the history of the U.S., Hoover Dam straddles the mighty Colorado River, which forms the border between Nevada and Arizona and brings much-needed water and power to the Southwest. Continue to Las Vegas, Nevada, a city that needs no introduction.

Driving Distance: 300 MI / 480 KM

Meals Included: Ro

Excalibur Hotel and Casino

Excalibur offers everything you expect from a Las Vegas casino, with an extra dose of fun and friendliness. At the castle, you’ll enjoy your favorite slot and table games, an action-packed poker room, full-service race & sports book, and live keno. In addition to casino, amenities include 4 heated pools, a 13,000 square foot spa, a fitness room, and an arcade. There are several restaurants and bars plus live entertainment, including a medieval joust dinner show, Tournament of Kings. This hotel charges resort fees of $35 per room per night (Subject to change) a credit card will also be needed to check-in.

Enjoy a full day Las Vegas style. Walk the famous Strip lined with mega-resorts and flashing neon lights, place a bet at one of the many casinos, dine at world-class restaurants, catch the latest must-see show, shop designer boutiques, ride a rollercoaster, lay by the pool … the list goes on. With so much to do, 24 hours in a day hardly seems like enough.

Meals Included: Ro

Excalibur Hotel and Casino

Excalibur offers everything you expect from a Las Vegas casino, with an extra dose of fun and friendliness. At the castle, you’ll enjoy your favorite slot and table games, an action-packed poker room, full-service race & sports book, and live keno. In addition to casino, amenities include 4 heated pools, a 13,000 square foot spa, a fitness room, and an arcade. There are several restaurants and bars plus live entertainment, including a medieval joust dinner show, Tournament of Kings. This hotel charges resort fees of $35 per room per night (Subject to change) a credit card will also be needed to check-in.

This morning, set out through the Mojave Desert for Calico Ghost Town, California’s authentic silver mining town and one of the few original mining camps of the Old West. Rejoin Route 66 in Barstow where a collection of historic photographs and artifacts related to Route 66 and the Mojave Desert communities are on display at the Route 66 Mother Road Museum. Continue through Pasadena, Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills to Santa Monica for a true Hollywood ending to your cross-country journey. Park and venture the last few blocks on foot to view the “End of the Trail” sign on Santa Monica’s Pier. This sign officially marks the western end of Historic Route 66.

Driving Distance: 290 MI / 470 KM

Meals Included: Ro

Clarion Hotel Anaheim Resort

The Clarion Hotel Anaheim is a full service hotel located just one block from the  Disneyland® Park and steps away from the Anaheim Convention Center. This Anaheim hotel is a "10 Time Gold Award winner from Choice Hotels International", the most prestigious award for excellence in cleanliness and customer service. We offer 284 spacious guestrooms, FREE Wi-Fi access throughout, a year round heated outdoor pool, fitness center, onsite dining, Sports Bar, gift shop, game room and 7,000 square feet of meeting space.The Anaheim Resort Transit shuttle conveniently picks up guests in front of our hotel and drops them off steps away from the Disneyland® Park Main Entrance (Nominal Fee).

Spend the day strolling along the beaches of Santa Monica or browsing the adjacent indoor/outdoor shops at Third Street Promenade. Or, further explore L.A.’s one-of-akind destinations, playgrounds of the rich and famous and architectural gems. Universal Studios Hollywood and Anaheim’s original Disneyland Park are also located within easy driving distance.

Meals Included: Ro

Clarion Hotel Anaheim Resort

The Clarion Hotel Anaheim is a full service hotel located just one block from the  Disneyland® Park and steps away from the Anaheim Convention Center. This Anaheim hotel is a "10 Time Gold Award winner from Choice Hotels International", the most prestigious award for excellence in cleanliness and customer service. We offer 284 spacious guestrooms, FREE Wi-Fi access throughout, a year round heated outdoor pool, fitness center, onsite dining, Sports Bar, gift shop, game room and 7,000 square feet of meeting space.The Anaheim Resort Transit shuttle conveniently picks up guests in front of our hotel and drops them off steps away from the Disneyland® Park Main Entrance (Nominal Fee).

Return your rental car at Los Angeles International Airport prior to your departure.